“Tell us a story, Grandma,” the oldest fairy child, Aurora, said. “A human tale. Those are the best.”
“No, I want to hear about the dwarf colonies on the moon.” The middle fairy child, Miles, stomped his foot. “Grandma is always telling human tales.”
“That’s ’cause that’s what Grandma tells best. I want a human tale, too.” The youngest, Autumn, nodded at Aurora, who smiled smugly. Miles scowled, knowing he was outnumbered.
“A human tale it is,” the old fairy said with a nod. “I know just the one.”
Once, there was a little fairy living in a big tree in the woods, just like this one. But the tree was knocked down by a storm, and the little fairy was separated from her family. When the storm stopped, her wings were wet and she was lost in a part of the woods she didn’t recognize.
“Oh, that’s awful!” Autumn interrupted. “Didn’t her mama and daddy go look for her?”
“Of course they did,” Grandma said. “They just hadn’t found her yet. They got tossed around in the storm, too. It was a terrible storm.”
Autumn frowned. “But they aren’t dead, right? If they’re dead I don’t want to hear this story.”
Miles clapped his hands. “Great! I want a dwarf story.”
Grandma shook her head. “They aren’t dead. Let me continue the story.”
She climbed up on a big rock, waiting for the sun to dry out her wings so she could fly up and look for landmarks. Unfortunately, her wings weren’t quite dry when a large animal came sniffing around the rock. It wasn’t wild, and didn’t know fairies. It was a dog. It picked up the little fairy in its mouth and carried her away to a human house.
“Did it eat her?” Miles asked. “Is the story over now? There’s still time for the dwarf story.”
The little fairy did not get eaten. Instead, she was carried inside the human house.
Aurora leaned toward Miles. “See. Grandma already said that. Now be quiet. I want to hear about the house.”
He scowled back at her. “It wasn’t me interrupting this time.”
Inside the human house, there lived a whole family of humans who were not at home when the fairy came to visit. The dog left the little fairy in a bowl of water by the door and wandered off to lay on a soft floor covering. The little fairy’s wings were wet again, and she was in a human house shut away from the sun and wind.
The little fairy tried to leave through the little door the dog climbed through, but it was too high for the little fairy to reach, and the big door around it was too smooth to climb. If her wings were dry, she could fly through the little door, but they were not dry. The little fairy needed to find a safe patch of sunlight.
“This wouldn’t have happened if she visited the dwarves instead of sitting on a rock,” Miles politely pointed out.
There weren’t any patches of sunlight. The fairy didn’t know what to do. “I wish there was some way to dry my wings,” she said. Just then, there was a wooshing sound nearby, and warm air blew up from small holes in the floor.
“The human house granted her wish? I didn’t know human houses did that.” Autumn bounced on her feet.
Miles rolled his eyes. “She should have wished to be home. She’s not very smart, is she?”
The fairy dried her wings in the warm air. Just as they were almost dry enough, the dog stood up again and looked around. The little fairy could hear the pounding of giant feet outside the door. The fairy squeezed herself against the wall by the big door and waited. The door opened, but she picked the wrong side of the door. Instead of being safely hidden behind the open door, she was clearly visible to the humans coming inside.
“There must have been a better hiding place than next to the door,” Miles said. “She’ll be lucky if they don’t step on her. Humans don’t look down.”
Startled, the little fairy flew into the air. Her wings were dry! The humans screeched and waved their arms around as they stumbled backwards. The little fairy flew past them and flew up and up until she could see the far away mountain and the edges of the forest. It took the rest of the day, but she found her home, and her family. They moved in with the little fairy’s grandparents until they could find a new tree home. And they all lived happily ever after.
“That was lovely,” Autumn said. “I’m glad they lived happily ever after.”
“They always do,” Miles grumbled. “It’s a human tale.”
“I liked the magic house that granted wishes. I would have wished the house was a field of bluebells.” Aurora patted her little bluebell hat. “I love bluebells.”
“Humans don’t really have magic wishing houses, right Grandma?” Miles asked.
Grandma smiled. “I think they do. I was that little fairy.”
The children gasped.
“Well, if it was a true story, and there really are magic wishing houses, then maybe this human tale was as good as a dwarf story,” Miles said at last.
Grandma smiled. “Thank you, Miles.”
“I still say you should have wished to be home, though.”
Grandma laughed. “I’ll remember that next time.”